One question you need to ask yourself is, “is your business future-ready?”
The business landscape is changing with many businesses and organizations using remote workers and various computing tools and platforms.
Just about everywhere you go these days, businesses are talking about “the cloud.” Cloud computing uses the internet to deliver numerous hardware and software services across a network of remote servers. The cloud gives your business better data storage, data security, and more flexibility. It helps companies upgrade and expand their infrastructure and make better decisions while decreasing costs.
The benefits for the organization:
- Increased efficiency
- Ease of access
- Simpler administration and management
- Lower overall costs
- Transitioning to the cloud = cutting IT costs
- Communicate directly with your customers in real-time
- Increased efficiency in operations and management
- Better support and access for a distributed workforce
- Reduced costs
The cloud has become the promoter for the rise in new technology delivery models for many different industries. Businesses can use public, private, or hybrid cloud models to change key features of their business by reducing the time to market and increasing the scale.
However, many companies have found that before they can reap the benefits of cloud technology, they face the challenges of successfully transitioning to the cloud.
It doesn’t matter whether your business is starting up, or you have a well-established company, there will be challenges such as having a complex understanding how the cloud can help your business in the future.
Some of the Common Challenges Businesses Seem to be Facing
The cloud has changed the way data is accessed and stored. As cloud technology continues to grow, businesses can reap the benefits. However, even with its apparent advantages, some business leaders are still apprehensive.
Data security can be an issue, especially if your business will be using the public cloud. Even though public cloud suppliers do take protecting your data seriously, they aren’t responsible for your business’s applications, servers, and data security.
When a public cloud provider declares they are in complete compliance with regulations, please don’t assume that this means they are 100% compliant. When using cloud solutions, you are asking another party to hold onto the data for you; therefore, you will still need to encrypt and secure your company’s data. Additionally, you will also need to invest in a suite of tools such as malware, antivirus, and secure web gateways from another cloud service to ensure that your business data is protected against cyber-attacks.
Security is the chief concern for many businesses, for good reason. Before you transition to a cloud vendor, ask questions. Ask your cloud provider what security practices they are adopting. Ask where your data will be stored and how they will encrypt your incoming and outgoing data.
Be sure to check on vendor lock-in prior to beginning the cloud mitigation process. Be absolutely sure you have chosen the right vendor because migrating to the cloud can be a lengthy and costly process, and if you aren’t happy after the process has begun, you may not be able to do much about it if your vendor has already locked in your contract.
Looking at why businesses are wary of the cloud
Is the cloud-free of all shortcomings? Does this advanced technology have flaws? Having a good understanding of the cloud’s pros and cons will give you a better picture of how to use it.
Before you decide to take the plunge and jump totally into the cloud, consider how these disadvantages of cloud computing could affect your small to medium-sized business.
Possibly one of the first things to consider is how reliant your business would be on cloud reliability, because even the most reliable cloud computing service providers suffer server outages now and again.
Security Issues and Privacy
Whether your company is large or small, security risks can arise during the implementation or management of the cloud because confidential data will sit outside the corporate firewall, making it vital that your business implements proper security measures.
Hacking and cyberattacks can compromise cloud interfaces and APIs. That said, as cloud providers and users grow, the security capabilities are improving vastly. Businesses can; however, minimize their security risks by making sure their SaaS provider has secure user identity management, authentication, and access control mechanisms in place.
Assess your providers’ security and privacy laws and look at compliance. Can you comply with regulations and standards no matter where your data is stored, and does your provider have good data recovery policies in place? Remember the service-level agreements (SLAs) of the provider you potentially want to use must meet your business’s needs.
You must keep track of the service you are being provided using third-party tools that will safeguard your usage, as Cloud service providers don’t offer twenty-four-hour service, which can mean outages.
Generally, when businesses move over to the cloud, they can become reliant on the service provider. In many instances, the provider will make available innovative technologies they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access.
On the flip-side, when your provider is down, so are you. Remember, the organization’s BI and other cloud-based systems are tied to the provider.
Outages are not uncommon, so make sure your provider has the right processes to be able to deal with this by sending you an alert when there is an issue.
Bear in mind that using the cloud can mean a lack of control. For data-driven companies that rely on real-time data, you need to make sure your SaaS provider has real-time monitoring policies in place to help lessen these issues.
Migration to the Cloud
Migration itself is more or less a pretty straightforward process if you are moving a new application. However, it becomes complicated and challenging if you are moving an existing application to a cloud environment. Therefore, you must find the right service model for your business, be it through private, public, or hybrid technologies, so you can alleviate some of the challenges.
Segment Usage & Adoption
Many businesses transitioning to the cloud encounter issues, and it has become apparent some company workforces aren’t keeping up with the potential problems they may face. Generally, this is because businesses aren’t thinking things through properly and don’t have the right strategies to alleviate any issues.
Businesses typically aren’t prepared for the cloud adoption speed or the expiration of data center contracts/equipment leading to intermittent cloud migration.
Many businesses complain about losing data control and inadequate customer service support when they transition to the cloud. Selecting how you store and manage your company’s data is very important so your business runs smoothly.
Data transfer costs
If your business needs to transfer large amounts of data, you will need to be aware of some costs. Transferring data to the cloud (inbound) is free. If you go over your monthly allowance, outbound data transfers are generally charged on a per GB basis. If your business regularly downloads large amounts of data from your cloud applications or data storage, the additional costs to you per month can quickly stack up. However, cloud computing is typically quite competitive and prices are decreasing; however, always check the associated costs.
Migrating to the cloud is going to mean changes in your IT team. It might mean that you will need to implement training and have a bit of a re-shuffle in your IT department. Naturally, training is costly and can mean things get delayed, so you may want to hire consultants. The Lift and Shift strategy may look like an attractive option, especially if you are stretched in your IT department, thin on IT personnel with the right skills, or waiting for your IT team to undergo the proper training.
Moving your business’s systems to the cloud can incur numerous known and hidden costs. Using Lift and Shift, businesses feel comfortable knowing they are adopting a safe approach by basing their expenses on their existing infrastructure. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work and can increase a business’s costs up to 15%. This is because large data transfers and legacy system connections can hold hidden fees. Trying to govern and control direct costs can turn into a micromanagement headache.
The Lift and Shift
The Lift and shift strategy is a bit like putting the migration to the cloud on autopilot. You literally take your systems as they are right now and run them on a cloud infrastructure. Be aware that some systems aren’t suitable for operating in the cloud, so using the Lift and Shift approach could create unknown and typically unforeseen challenges. On top of that, any current issues in your system will be migrated to the cloud and carry on. So when planning your cloud migration, bear in mind that it can represent an opportunity to migrate the capability you need, but leave any problems in your current system behind.
Global IT Services Can Help
As one of the leading cloud consulting and service providers in the IT industry, we recognize the challenges that businesses face when they transition to the cloud. Therefore, our mission is to provide you with the resources and skills needed to handle cloud-related tasks.
We will help you by providing help and resources such as:
- Cloud/Solution Architects
- Cloud Engineers, i.e., AWS/Azure/Google Experts.
- Cloud Software/Big Data Engineers
- DevOps Engineers
- Cloud Product Managers
- Mobile Developers
- Java Developers
- . Net Application Architects